You’ve probably seen them a hundred times by now: actor Jeff Goldblum dancing and twirling before the plain white background — at times in slow motion, at others accompanied by a perky musical tune, but always talking a mile a minute.
Of course they’re the latest prime-time TV commercials from Apple, and Goldblum is pitching the ingenuity of the new iMovie 2 software for the iMac, a beefed up version of iMovie, formerly downloadable from the Apple Web site for free. However, the new version is US $49 and has no manual.
Now what? Well, you may want to check out the latest O’Reilly book “iMovie 2: The Missing Manual,” which costs $19.95 US and is written by David Pogue.
Pogue Press/O’Reilly’s companion book to the free version of the software, “iMovie: The Missing Manual,” released in May 2000. The book’s philosophy: giving someone iMovie without teaching basic film technique is like giving a map to a teenager without teaching him to drive.
“iMovie 2 has been dramatically improved — it’s really a wonderful program now,” Pogue said. “By making it possible to perform J-edits, L-edits, video overlays, slow-, fast-, and reverse-motion, and so on, anyone can create extremely professional results. Yet there are also several features in iMovie 2 that make you scratch your head, wondering what the point is. As it turns out, each of these features was designed in response to a very specific situation or video-editing problem — but, unfortunately, the paltry online help doesn’t give you a clue.”
That’s were “iMovie 2: The Missing Manual” steps in. It covers every step of iMovie video production, from choosing and using a digital camcorder, to burning the finished work onto CDs, to guiding the user through all the new features: the option of inserting new video over a continuous audio track; no more limitations on the number of raw clips from which to choose scenes; nifty special effects; brightness and contrast adjustments; greater typographical flexibility; and a far more useful and complete audio-track editor.
Pogue, creator of the Missing Manual series, has written 15 books, including “Mac OS 9: The Missing Manual,” “The iMac for Dummies,” and “PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide.” He writes the Computer Press Association award-winning “Desktop Critic” column for Macworld magazine, and his computer students include Mia Farrow, Carly Simon, and Harry Connick, Jr.
Chapter 8 of “iMovie 2: The Missing Manual,” Narration, Music, and Sound, is available free
online. For more info about the book, including the table of contents, index, author bio, and samples, see